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Presidential race provides plenty of good speeches

During the past few weeks I have been a good citizen and attended a presidential rally for President Bush and his opponent John Kerry. For one of the few times in the past several moons West Virginia is receiving some attention in the presidential race this year.

With a Democrat voter registration of more than 2-1 in this state we usually are considered the runt of the litter when it comes to national political attention. However, four years ago Bush took West Virginia and our five electoral votes. West Virginia, like some other states said “without those votes in the Bush column we could be talking about President Gore.”

In the Springer family we are divided. Four of us, including the one that lives in your neck-of-the-woods, are rather strong conservative Republicans. The other is a renegade Democrat. The President has been in West Virginia about five times in the past few weeks and Kerry perhaps one trip less. Both are scheduled to return again. A couple of Saturday’s ago both were in Wheeling on the same day.

Daughter Denise and I attended a rally on a recent Sunday for the President at the state capitol. He had some plane difficulties taking off in Washington and missed a scheduled Worship Service in a local church. However, he got to the capitol early and somewhat to my surprise went on early. We were all there in plenty of time so why wait!

The following Thursday, son Don (the Democrat) and I went to the Kerry rally on the campus of the University of Charleston directly across Kanawha River from the capitol building. I was really surprised, although tickets were required, we were not asked to show our tickets or provide identification. We went through a metal detector and that was it. At the Bush rally we were checked a couple of times and had to show a photo identification.

I felt both did a good job in stating positions and I wrote a local column for each. Kerry probably pulled the larger crowd, which usually happens for the Democrat, but it was close. Bush had about 7,000 and Kerry a few hundred more.

A couple of your Texas Democrats from Corpus Christi showed up at the Bush rally wearing anti-Bush shirts and making a little noise.They were arrested by the Charleston Police and ushered out. Later, it was determined the city statute under which they were arrested did not apply to state property and the arrest was withdrawn and an apology sent their way. As you might imagine they were the darlings of the Kerry campaign.

Now they are saying they were treated so well in West Virginia they are leaving Texas and moving here! We have two more Democrats and you have two less.

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my West Virginia home!